This month, EMG founder and CEO Drs Daan Elffers gave a lecture on sustainability and the circular economy at the Lord Ashcroft International Business School at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge. The lecture formed part of the module on Sustainable Management Futures and was attended by 300+ students from around the world as part of their business management related bachelor’s degree.
Elffers encouraged students to think beyond the traditional sustainability framework of reduction and minimization, instead focusing on ways to do more good – not just economically, but also socially and environmentally. The lecture forms part of EMG’s broader, ongoing effort to inspire future leaders to see the need, but also the great opportunities, of adopting a business strategy of sustainability and corporate responsibility.
“Technologically, the possibilities are endless. The point is that we ask ourselves what outcomes we want to realize – not just in view of the next financial quarter, but also more holistically in the long run. For many organizations this requires a real paradigm shift in thinking, so empowering the next generation of professionals to have this new mindset will help accelerate this process phenomenally,” said Elffers.
Following the lecture, students were led through an exercise on how to apply the circular economy for their chosen products, in some cases relating to the development of their research dissertations. Elffers closed his presentation with the quote from Walter Stahel: “So do we have to do this? No, we don’t. Survival is not mandatory.”
Elffers has been a certified Cradle to Cradle consultant since 2008, and has worked with numerous companies on strategizing and implementing the circular economy and Cradle to Cradle for the benefit of people, planet and profit.
The Guardian Sustainable Business recently published his ‘guide to implementing the circular economy’ on their circular economy hub, which can be found here.